Academy of Art University School of Fashion in Partnership with Creatives Want Change to Support Young Black Artists

San Francisco, CA, November 24, 2020 – San Francisco’s Academy of Art University School of Fashion is proud to announce its official partnership with the non-profit organization Creatives Want Change.

Creatives Want Change (CWC) is dedicated to the cultivation of Black creative talent beginning at the high school level and continuing into early professional development. Academy of Art University saw this as a perfect match, adding to their already robust selection of opportunities available to students, including two Presidential Scholarships offered by President Elisa Stephens.

In partnership with City College San Francisco, one of these scholarships is designed to encourage students who receive their associate degree to pursue a four-year degree in fashion. The second scholarship allows fashion students to further their education at Studio Berçot in Paris, the fashion capital of the world. Past recipients of these awards include Amanda Velazquez in 2016, Chelsea Grays in 2019, and Brianna Toomer in 2018. By partnering with CWC, Academy of Art University hopes to create even more opportunities for young BIPOC creatives beginning from high school and beyond their post-graduate years.

“Our desire is to pave the way to train the next generation of fashion creatives without ignoring the racial divide that is apparent in the industry. As artists and educators, it is our responsibility to do our part to make that change and create opportunities,” states Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University.

Strong industry relationships with founders Randy Cousin, SVP of Product Concept and the People’s Place Program at Tommy Hilfiger, Joe Medved, Founder of Joe’s Blackbook, and Matthew Kane, Men’s & Women’s Design Manager at Club Monaco, led School of Fashion to create this partnership. They will be teaming up with CWC in many of their program pillars, including pre-college educational opportunities, mentorship with industry professionals, internships and apprenticeships, and community outreach and exposure.

As a non-profit organization, all donations to CWC support tuition and fees for Black creative talent to participate in pre-college programs with Academy of Art University as well as their other academic partners. The university is excited to embark on this new partnership with CWC and continuing to provide opportunities for young Black creatives.

About the School of Fashion
Students pursuing a Fashion Design degree from Academy of Art University learn from the finest creative minds working in fashion today, and have access to the tools and cutting-edge facilities needed for creating collections that garner accolades. Fashion students the world over gain experience designing styles that are the future of the industry in the following areas of specialization: Fashion Design for Womenswear, Menswear, and Childrenswear; 3D Design and Pattern Making; Textile Design; Knitwear Design; Accessory Design; Costume Design; Fashion Illustration; Fashion Journalism; Fashion Marketing and Brand Management; Fashion Styling; Fashion Art Direction; Fashion Merchandising; Fashion Product Development; and Visual Merchandising.

About Academy of Art University
Established in 1929, Academy of Art University is one of the largest private, accredited art and design schools in the nation. Located in San Francisco, the epicenter of culture and technology, Academy of Art University offers more than 135 accredited degree programs spanning 40 areas of study, including entertainment arts, advertising, fashion, architecture, game development, music, communication, photography, and more. For more information, please visit

Press Contacts
Gabriel Joshua Gima
Director, Public Relations x Special Event

Image courtesy of Creatives Want Change, image features Joe Medved, Randy Cousin and Matthew Kane.

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